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Web Scraping Projects & Topics For Beginners  – upGrad
Home > Data Science > Web Scraping Projects & Topics For Beginners 
In this article, we’ll take a look at some exciting web scraping project ideas. We have assorted a list of multiple projects of various industries and skill levels to choose one according to your liking.
Web Scraping has many names, such as Web Harvesting, Screen Scraping, and others. It is a method of extracting large quantities of data from websites and storing it at a particular location (a local file in your computer or a database in a table).
What is Web Scraping? Why Perform Web Scraping? Web Scraping Projects1. Scrape a SubredditHow to work on this project2. Perform Consumer ResearchHow to work on this project3. Analyse CompetitorsHow to Work on This Project4. Use Web Scraping for SEOHow to work on this project5. Scrape Data of Sports TeamsHow to work on this project6. Get Financial DataHow to work on this projectScrape a Job PortalHow to work on this projectConclusionWhat is the difference between web crawling and web scraping? What are the essentials that must be kept in mind while creating a consumer research project? How can web scraping be used for SEO purposes?
What is Web Scraping?
Whenever you want any information, you Google it and go to the webpage, which offers the most relevant answer to your query. You can view the data you needed, but what if you need to save it locally? What if you want to see the data of a hundred more pages?
Most of the webpages present on the internet don’t offer the option to save the data present there locally. To keep it that way, you’ll have to copy and paste everything manually, which is very tedious. Moreover, when you have to save the data of hundreds (sometimes, thousands) of webpages, this task can seem strenuous. You might end up spending days just copy-pasting bits from different websites. Check out our website if you want to learn data science.
This is where web scraping comes in. It automates this process and helps you store all the required data with ease and in a small amount of time. For this purpose, many professionals use web scraping software or web scraping techniques.
Read more: Top 7 Data Extraction Tools in the Market
Why Perform Web Scraping?
In data science, to do anything, you need to have data at hand. To get that data, you’ll need to research the required sources, and web scraping helps you. Web scraping collects and categorizes all the required data in one accessible location. Researching with a single, convenient location is much more feasible and more comfortable than searching for everything one-by-one.
Just as data science is prevalent in many industries, web scraping is widespread too. When you take a look at the web scraping project ideas we’ve discussed here, you will notice how various industries use this technique for their benefit.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of web scraping, we should start discussing web scraping projects too
Web Scraping Projects
The following are our web scraping project ideas. They are of different industries so that you can choose one according to your interests and expertise.
1. Scrape a Subreddit
Reddit is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. It has communities called subreddits, for nearly every topic you can imagine. From programming to World of Warcraft, there is a community for everything on Reddit. All of these communities are quite active, and their members (on a side note: Reddit’s users are called Redditors)share a lot of valuable information, opinions, and content.
Learn more: 17 Fun Social Media Project Ideas & Topics For Beginners
How to work on this project
Reddit’s thriving communities are a great place to try out your web scraping abilities. You can scrape its subreddits for particular topics and figure out what its users say about it (and how often they discuss it). For example, you can scrape the subreddit r/webdev, where web development professionals and enthusiasts discuss the various aspects of this field. You can scrap this subreddit for a particular topic (such as finding jobs).
This was just an example, and you can choose any subreddit and use it as your target.
This project is suitable for beginners. So, if you don’t have much experience using web scraping techniques, you should start with this one. You can modify the difficulty level of this project by selecting a smaller (or bigger) subreddit.
2. Perform Consumer Research
Consumer research is a vital aspect of marketing and product development. It helps a company understand what their targeted consumers want, whether their customers liked their product or not, and how the general public perceives their product or services. If you’d use your data science expertise in marketing, you’d have to perform consumer research many times.
Researching potential buyers helps a company in many ways. They get to know:
What are the likings of their prospective clients
What are the things their prospective customers hate
What products they use
What products they avoid
This is just the tip of the iceberg; consumer research (also known as consumer analysis) can cover many other areas.
To perform consumer research, you can gather data from customer review websites and social media sites. They are a great place to start with.
Here are some popular review sites where you can start to get the necessary data:
These are just a few names. Apart from these review sites, you can head to Facebook to gather links as well. If you find any blogs that cover your company’s products, then you can include them in your web scraping efforts as well. They are an excellent source for getting valuable insight.
Doing this project will help you in performing many other tasks in data science, particularly sentiment analysis. So, pick a brand (or a product) and start researching its reviews online.
Learn more: Data Analytics Is Disrupting These 4 Martech Roles
3. Analyse Competitors
Competitive analysis is one of the many aspects of digital marketing. It also requires data scientists and analysts’ expertise because they have to gather data and find what their competition is doing.
You can perform web scraping for competitive analysis too. Completing this project will help you considerably in understanding how this skill can help brands in digital marketing, one of the most crucial aspects in today’s world.
How to Work on This Project
First, you should choose an industry of your liking. You can start with car companies, teaching companies (such as upGrad), or any other. After that, you have to pick a brand for which you’ll analyze the competitors. We recommend starting with a small brand if you are a beginner because they have fewer competitors than major ones.
Once you’ve picked the brand, you should search for its competitors. You’ll have to scrape the web for their competitors, find what they sell, and how they target their audience. If you’ve picked a tiny brand and don’t know its competitors, you should search for its product categories. For example, if you picked Tata Motors as your brand, you’d search for a phrase similar to ‘buy cars in India. ’ The search result will show you many cars of different brands, all of which are competitors of Tata Motors.
You can build a scraping tool that analyses your selected brand’s competitors and shows the following data:
What are their products?
What are the prices of their products?
What are the offers on their products (or services)?
Are they offering something which your brand isn’t?
You can add more sections, depending on your level of expertise and skill. This list is just to give you an idea of what you should look for in your selected brand’s competitors.
Such web scraping is particularly beneficial for new and growing companies. If you aspire to work with startups in the future, this is the perfect project idea. To make this project more challenging, you can increase the number of competitors you want to analyze. If you’re a beginner, you can start with one or two competitors, whereas if you’re a little advanced, you can start with three or four competitors.
4. Use Web Scraping for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO) is the task of modifying a website, matching the preferences of search engines’ algorithms. As the number of internet users is steadily rising, the demand for effective SEO is also increasing. SEO impacts the rank of a website when a person searches for a particular keyword.
It is a humongous topic and requires a complete guide. All you need to know for SEO is that it requires specific criteria that a website has to fulfill. You can read more on SEO and what it is in our article on how to build an SEO strategy from scratch.
You can use web scraping for SEO and help websites ranking higher for keywords.
You can build a data scraping tool that scrapes your selected websites’ rankings for different keywords. The tool can extract the words these companies use to describe themselves too. You can use this technique for specific keywords and assort a list of websites. A marketing team can use this list to use the best keywords out of that list and help their website rank higher.
While this is a simple application of web scraping in SEO, you can make it more advanced. For example, you can create a similar tool but add the function of getting the metadata of those web pages. This would include the title of the web page (the text you see on the tab) and other relevant pieces of information.
On the other hand, you can build a web scraper that checks the word count of the different pages ranking for a keyword. This way you can understand the impact word count has on the ranking of a webpage
There are many ways to make a web scraper for SEO. You can take inspiration from Moz or Ahrefs and build an advanced web scraper yourself. There’s a lot of demand for useful web scraping tools in the SEO industry.
If you are interested in using your tech skills in digital marketing, this is an excellent project. It will make you familiar with the applications of data science in online marketing as well. Apart from that, you’ll also learn about the multiple methods of using web scraping for search engine optimization.
5. Scrape Data of Sports Teams
Are you a sports fan? If so, then this is the perfect project idea for you. You can use your knowledge of web scraping to scrape data from your favorite sports team and find some interesting insights. You can choose any team you like of any popular sports.
You can choose your favorite team and scrape the websites of their official website, the organization that handles their sports, and relevant archives. For example, if you’re a cricket fan, you can use ESPN’s cricket statistics database.
After you’ve scraped this data, you’d have all the required information on your favorite team. You can expand this project and add more teams in your collection to make this project a little more challenging.
However, this is among the most suitable web scraping projects for beginners. You can learn a lot about web scraping and its applications in a fun and exciting manner.
6. Get Financial Data
The finance sector uses a lot of data. Financial data is useful in many ways as it helps investors analyze a company’s performance and reliability. Similarly, it helps a company in analyzing its position and where it stands in terms of finances. If you want to use your knowledge of data and web scraping in the finance sector, then you should work on this project.
There are multiple ways to go about this project. You can start by scraping the web for the performance of a company’s stock in a set period and the news articles related to the company of that period. This data can help an investor figure out how different things affected that particular company’s stock price. Apart from that, this data will also help the investor understand what factors affect the company’s stock price, which factors don’t.
Financial statistics are crucial for any company’s health. They help the stakeholders of a company understand how well (or how badly) their business is performing. Financial data is always helpful, and this project will allow you to use your skills in this regard.
You can start with a single company initially and make the project more challenging by adding the data from more companies. However, if you want to focus on one particular company, you can increase the timeline and look at the data of a year or more.
Scrape a Job Portal
It is among the most popular web scraping project ideas. There are many job portals on the web, and if you’ve ever thought of using your expertise in data science in human resources, this is the right project for you.
There are many job portals online, and you can pick anyone for this project. Here are some places to get you started:
In this project, you can build a tool that scrapes a job portal (or multiple job portals) and checks the requirements of a particular job. For example, you can look at all the ‘data analyst’ jobs present in a job portal and analyze its job requirements to see the most popular criteria for hiring one such professional.
You can add more jobs or portals in your search to add more difficulty to this project. It’s a fantastic project for anyone who wants to apply data science in management and relevant streams.
Also Read: Data Science Project Ideas & Topics
We hope you found this list of web scraping project ideas useful and exciting. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this article or topic, feel free to let us know. On the other hand, if you want to learn more, you should head to our blog to find many relevant and valuable resources.
You can enroll in a data science course as well to get a more individualized learning experience. A course can help you learn all the important topics and concepts in a personalized approach so you can be job-ready in very little time.
If you are curious to learn about data science, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s Executive PG Programm in Data Science which is created for working professionals and offers 10+ case studies & projects, practical hands-on workshops, mentorship with industry experts, 1-on-1 with industry mentors, 400+ hours of learning and job assistance with top firms.
What do you think of these project ideas? Which one of these ideas did you like the most? Let us know in the comments.
What is the difference between web crawling and web scraping?
Many people get confused between web crawling and web scraping and end up considering them as equivalent. Well, they are two separate terms with totally different meanings. The web crawler is artificial intelligence, also known as “the spider” that surfs the internet and searches the required content by following the links. Web scraping is the next step after web crawling. In web scraping, data is extracted automatically using artificial intelligence known as “scrapers”. This extracted data can be used for various processes like comparison, analysis, and verification based upon the client’s needs. It also allows you to store a large amount of data within a small amount of time.
What are the essentials that must be kept in mind while creating a consumer research project?
Consumer research is crucial for every product-based company and there are certain things that one must keep in mind while working on a project on consumer research. There is a lot more to research and analyze while working on a consumer research project. There are various websites that provide the necessary data on consumer preferences like Trustpilot, Yelp, GripeO, and BBB. Apart from these review sites, you can also visit Facebook to get the links.
How can web scraping be used for SEO purposes?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a process that improves the visibility of your site whenever someone’s search meets your website domain. For example, you have an e-commerce website and some search for a product that is available on your website as well as on your competitors’ websites. Now, whose website or webpage among you and your competitor will occur first will depend on the SEO. Web scraping can be used for SEO and help websites ranking higher for keywords. You can build a web scraper that checks the word count of the different pages ranking for a keyword. You can even add the functionality in your web scraper to get the meta description or metadata of those web pages.
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20 Web Scraping Projects Ideas for 2021 – ProjectPro
Last Updated: 06 Sep 2021
In this article, you will find a list of interesting web scraping projects that are fun and easy to implement. The list has worthwhile web scraping projects for both beginners and intermediate professionals. The projects have been divided into categories so that you can quickly pick one as per your requirements.
Table of Contents
Top 20 Web Scraping Project Ideas
Useful Web Scraping Projects for Beginners
Fun Web Scraping Projects for Final Year Students
Python Web Scraping Projects
Machine Learning Web Scraping Projects
Interesting Web Scraping Projects for Intermediate Professionals
Web Scraping Projects on GitHub
Web Scraping Projects for Raspberry pi
Significance of Web Scraping Projects in Data Science
Let us say you just are running a small business, and you are not able to grow your business and reach the relevant audience. You think of upscaling your growth by analyzing your competitors’ customers, but you don’t know how to find them. You don’t need to worry much because your problem can be solved quickly, all thanks to Web Scraping. Web Scraping is the method of extracting data from websites in an automated way. It is readily becoming a popular tool for increasing a business’ growth as by using web scraping, one can know their competitors’ customers and target them for advertisements.
We will now start with our list of interesting web scraping projects to help you explore its various applications. The list contains 20 projects that have been classified into the following categories:
Web Scraping Projects GitHub
Web Scraping Projects for Raspberry Pi
If you have just started searching for web scraping and are interested in working on beginner web scraping projects, this section is for you. Below you will find projects that are meant for a newbie in Web scraping.
Web Scraping Project Idea #1 Customers Review Analysis
Businesses that want to stay in the market for a long time must value their customers’ feedback. It gives them a fair idea of what their customers are not enjoying and what changes they should make to make them happy.
Project Idea: For this project, you can scrape data for any specific product available on Amazon and analyze its customers’ reviews. After scraping, you can do sentiment analysis and perform the necessary statistical analysis to draw insightful conclusions.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: For this project, we suggest you use Beautiful Soup (Python’s open-source library) as it will allow you to crawl the website and extract the review from the Amazon website using HTML tags.
Web Scraping Project Idea #2 Flights Ticket Price Analysis
While planning a vacation, we all desire to spend the minimum on flight tickets, but it is not always possible. One has to pre-plan well in advance to avail of lower prices for aeroplane tickets. But, do you know occasionally, the prices go significantly down at odd timings? If you could understand them, it would mean you will get the chance of booking your tickets near your travel date.
Project Idea: For this project, you can pick a website like Expedia or Kayak, fill in your details using automated fashion, and then crawl the website to extract the price information.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: Python’s Selenium is suitable for performing web scraping in this project. Additionally, you can use Python’s smtplib package to send an email containing the information that you extracted from the website to yourself.
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Web Scraping Project Idea #3 NBA Players Analytics
In North America, the basketball game is enjoyed by its citizens, and most of them take great pleasure in watching NBA (National Basketball Association) basketball league. Like India’s IPL is celebrated among cricket fans throughout the world, NBA is widely recognized among basketball fans.
Project Idea: For this project, you can scrape data from, which has data for NBA games and WNBA and G League. It contains information about all the basketball players like Field Goal Percentage, Field Goal Attempts, Position in the court, minutes played,, etc.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: The two web scraping libraries that will help you smooth this project’s implementation is BeautifulSoup and Requests of the Python programming language. They allow easy access to websites and parsing of HTML pages.
Recommended Reading: Top 30 Machine Learning Projects Ideas for Beginners in 2021
Many final-year students look for cool projects based on web scraping for their applied courses. This section has listed project ideas that a student can consider for their final year project.
Web Scraping Project Idea #4 Automated Product Price Comparison
Many of us look to fall for exciting deals on Flash sale days of eCommerce websites only to realize later that the prices are usually down for that product on no sale days. To grab those exciting and rare deals, one needs to constantly analyze product prices to come across the perfect buying opportunity.
Project Idea: You can build a system that collects the prices of a product from different eCommerce websites and prepares a list of them. A buyer can then analyze the list to decide which website they should purchase the product from.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: You can explore the web scraping software Octoparse for this project. It is free for life SaaS web data platform with pre-defined methods to extract data from eCommerce websites like Amazon, eBay, etc.
Web Scraping Project Idea #5 Analysing Competitors’ Customers
We discussed the challenge faced by small businesses in expanding their business at the beginning of this blog. As pointed out earlier, they can analyze their competitors’ customers pattern and make relevant changes to their business model accordingly.
Project Idea: For this project, you can scrape data from SEO crawlers, websites that extract information about various web pages like their performance metrics (number of shares, number of visits, etc. ), content length, meta tags, etc. You can use crawlers like Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Netpeak Spider, and SEO PowerSuite ().
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: You can scrape the data from the SEO crawlers using Python’s BeautifulSoup.
This section lists projects that one can implement using the Python programming language’s interesting libraries. So if you are specifically looking for web scraping python projects, you will find the list below highly relevant.
Web Scraping Project Idea #6 Sports Analytics
If you are a sports enthusiast who occasionally invests in legal betting, this project idea will interest you. That’s because analyzing sports statistically helps understand which players or teams offer intense competition and are likely to win.
Project Idea: For this project, you can work with America’s National Football League data. The data is available on the NFL website, and you can scrape data from there to extract players’ information.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: This project can be implemented by storing information in a google doc for analysis. For scraping data, you can download ParseHub, which is a free web scraper available online.
Web Scraping Project Idea #7 Hotel Pricing Analytics
When planning for a vacation, accommodation prices have the highest share from the vacation budget. It is often easy to save on this expense by keeping track of the hotel prices. And, of course, it is difficult to track them manually.
Project Idea: is a website that allows travellers to book hotels in various cities worldwide. By scraping data from this website, you can collect information about hotels like their name, type of room, location, etc., and use machine learning algorithms to train a model that learns various features of the hotels and predicts the prices.
Web Scraping Tool: For this project, the Python requests library will be an excellent pick to scrape the HTML content of the webpage and SelectorLib library as well for extracting YAML files that will be generated when you will download the HTML content.
Web Scraping Project Idea #8 Online-Game Review Analysis
With COVID-19 in place, the gaming industry saw a massive bump in its users. To keep the users hooked to their games and not lose them to other entertainment options, the analysts have to keep track of the customer reviews.
Project Idea: You can do a web scraping project with the data available on the STREAM game store. The store hosts about 10, 000 games and has reviews from nearly 4 million game users. The website has a product listings page that you can use to extract metadata of the games it hosts.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: For this project, Python programming language’s Scrapy is a good option. You can control the way you want to crawl the game store page using Scrapy’s CrawlSpider.
Web Scraping Project Idea #9 Web Scraping Crypto Prices
Cryptocurrency is a hot topic among investors considering its fluctuating prices. Even Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted about one of the most popular cryptocurrencies available. Additionally, Raghu Ram Rajan, the world’s renowned economist, recently commented that cryptocurrency holds a decent future and can become an effective means of payment.
Project Idea: For this project, we have an exciting website for you that hosts all the relevant information for cryptocurrencies like NFT, their last seven days’ trend, etc. One can find these details on CoinMarketCap.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: If you are looking forward to implementing this project in Python, it can be easily implemented using Python’s BeautifulSoup.
This section has cool web scraping projects that will introduce you to insightful projects for web scraping and motivate you to learn the application of machine learning algorithms to the data you scrape. So, read this section if you are looking for projects that imbibe the application of machine learning algorithms in them.
Recommended Reading: 8 Machine Learning Projects to Practice for August 2021 ()
Web Scraping Project Idea #10 News Aggregation
With so many different news channels popping up, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all kinds of news that highlight relevant happenings worldwide. We all have our favourites for news channels, but no one channel has it all.
Project Idea: This web scraping project will involve building a customized one-stop solution for relevant news from all around the world. You can pick websites that you prefer and scrape data from them to gather news. The next step would be to use a text summariser machine learning NLP-based project and submit relevant news.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: You can use the Web Content Extractor for this project. Web Content Extractor is a simple web scraping tool that offers a free 14-day trial service.
Web Scraping Project Idea #11 House Price Prediction
Buying a house is a dream for most working professionals. But, most of them turn their backs towards them when they look at the prices. Buying a home requires a heavy investment, but you can save a decent amount of money by planning.
Project Idea: As a case study, you can take the Portuguese website
Web Scraping Tool: For this project, the best-suited programming language is Python because of its two fantastic web scraping-related libraries: BeautifulSoup and Requests.
Web Scraping Project Idea #12 Word Frequency Distribution for Novels
Natural Language Processing is a component of Artificial Intelligence that deals with training computers to understand the natural language of humans. It has gained popularity for its exciting applications like sentiment analysis, text summarisation, etc.
Project Idea: This project will revolve around applying NLP methods and web scraping techniques in one go. You can scrape textual data from novels that are available freely on the web and plot interesting statistics like Word Frequency distribution, which gives insights about which words the author commonly uses. For this project, you can use the website Project Gutenberg that has free ebooks of many novels.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: The web scraping tool again for this project is Python’s BeautifulSoup. For NLP methods, you can use its other library, NLTK.
Web Scraping Project Idea #13 Political Data Analytics
People are no longer restricted to making friends on social media websites; the sites have also become a platform for people to voice their opinions. Digital movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, etc., have been recognized worldwide and discussed widely on a global level. Political parties have also realized the importance of social media influence, and thus, there is a significant inclination towards utilizing social media data to understand a party’s impact.
Project Idea: For this project, you can pick a social media platform like Twitter, Facebook, etc., and scrape the public posts to analyze the generic sentiments of a country’s citizens towards a specific political party.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: You can implement this project in R programming language and use its Rfacebook package to scrape data from Facebook’s API.
For intermediate professionals, this section has web scraping python example projects that can solve business problems. These projects are professionally relevant, and you will enjoy learning about exciting web scraping tools.
Web Scraping Project Idea #14 Equity Research Analysis
Equity Research involves thorough analysis and understanding of a company’s financial documents like balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow statements, etc., of the past few years. That helps portfolio managers to be sure of the investments in a company of their interest.
Project Idea: Most companies have an Investor Relation section on their website with their annual financial statements. For this project, you can refer to Walt Disney’s Investor Relation webpage and scrape the PDFs available to understand how the company is evolving financially.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: For this project, we recommend the popular package of Python’s programming language, Beautiful Soup. Additionally, since you must extract content from the PDFs, you will have to use another package, PyPDF2, that has the PdfFileReader class.
Web Scraping Project Idea #15 Drug Recommendation System
One usually walks into a pharmacy and asks for medicines that their doctors have pre-prescribed for simple health problems like body ache, a runny nose, or a headache. But, often, the same medication is not available everywhere, and it is difficult to reach out to your doctor for such minor problems. In that case, looking at the drugs of a few other medicines that might help us resolve our minor issues is not a bad idea.
Project Idea: Using WebMD’s database, you can build a drug recommendation system. The website has authentic content for medical news and the drug components of several medicines you can scrape to realize this project’s solution.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: Using Python’s web scraping framework, Scrapy, you can download the website’s content for one of the most interesting web scraping with python projects.
Web Scraping Project Idea #16 Market Analysis for Hedge Funds Investment
Hedge funds are usually considered a risky investment option involving a few individuals coming forward to invest in various assets, bonds, equities, etc., and are managed by a professional manager. The interest rate is not precisely predictable for these funds, so one needs to perform extensive research to understand the risk involved.
Project Idea: Casual opinion of a business often unexpectedly affects the businesses’ stock prices. Thus, for this project, one can scrape data from a website like Reddit, where people usually discuss almost everything. You can scrape the ‘Daily Discussion’ thread and the financial news/views section.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: Selenium’s web driver in the Python programming language will work very well for this project.
If you are entirely new to the idea of web scraping and are searching for a web scraping projects tutorial, you must refer to the project ideas mentioned in this section. This section has projects whose solutions you can easily find on GitHub. For your convenience, we have mentioned one relevant GitHub repository for each of these web scraping project ideas.
Web Scraping Project Idea #17 Movies Review Analysis
Most of us enjoy watching movies to entertain ourselves on the weekends after a hectic weekday. While sometimes we stick to our classic favourites, often we look for something new and interesting. To know what will best suit us, we quickly google and check out the movies’ reviews.
Project Idea: You can build your personalized movie review analyzer that will utilize the IMDB ratings and scan the reviews to help you decide your next movie for the coming weekend. Additionally, you can perform sentiment analysis on the reviews as well to gain deeper insights.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: For this project, you can scrape the data from OMDb API or the IMDb website using the IMDb ID of the movies. You can use the Beautiful Soup package of Python for this project.
GitHub Repository: Web-Scraping and Movie Review Analysis by Shehzada Alam
Web Scraping Project Idea #18 Building a Job Search Portal
We already have so many websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, etc., that host so many job opportunities every day. But have you ever noticed that usually, they all contain different jobs? So, how about we scrap the data from these websites to build a collective job search portal?
Project Idea: For this project, you should scrap popular job portal websites and obtain information like the date of the job posting, salary details, job industry, company name, etc. You can then store and present this information on your commended Web Scraping Tool: For this project implementation, you can use Scrapy, a library in the Python programming language that allows its programmers to scrape data from any website. The exciting feature of Scrapy is that it offers an asynchronous networking library so you can move on to the following next set of tasks before they are complete.
GitHub Repository: Web-scraping Job Portal sites by Ashish Kapil
Web Scraping Project Idea #19 Analysing Company Financials
If you are in search of projects based on web scraping related to the financial sector, you will enjoy working on this idea. Analyzing a company’s financial statements is crucial if you plan to invest in them directly or indirectly. And with web scraping, you can surely make better decisions.
Project Idea: For this project, you can scrape data of a company you are interested in through the Yahoo Finance website. It is essential that before proceeding with the project idea, you make sure that the company’s data is present in Yahoo’s database.
GitHub Repository: Analysis of company financials from the Yahoo Finance webpage by Randy Macaraeg
Recommended Reading: 15 Machine Learning Projects GitHub for Beginners in 2021
This section has projects that you will find helpful if you are looking for projects that will motivate you to learn how to deploy web scraping projects in Raspberry pi. We have listed brainstorming projects that will help you in upgrading your skills.
Web Scraping Project Idea #20 SEO Monitoring
Optimizing content for keyword search on a search engine is crucial for businesses that even small companies are actively investing their time and energy in it. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is proving to be a game-changer for many companies.
Project Idea: Monitoring content is straightforward if you analyze the rankings of your website for targetted keywords through scraping popular search engines like Google, Bing, etc. In this project, you will have to extract HTML links, meta tags, title tags, etc., of the web pages that pop up when searching for targetted keywords.
Recommended Web Scraping Tool: For this project, you can use Python’s Scrapy, a free web scraping tool in the Python programming language. Additionally, if you want the information to be sent to you periodically, you can deploy it on Raspberry Pi, which will run it after a specified time lag.
When working on data science-related projects, it is not always possible to have a pre-polished dataset that one can use for solving problems. In such cases, it is always recommended to build your dataset by scraping relevant websites. Thus, you must work on as many web scraping projects as possible if you wish to become a successful data scientist. Here are a few instances of industries where you can utilize your web scraping techniques:
Finance: Here, financial managers use web scraping methods to analyze stock prices and in an attempt to predict them using machine learning algorithms.
Real-Estate: They use web scraping techniques to inspect what factors influence the the prices of houses, plots, etc.
Gaming: Gaming industry members utilize web scraping to understand their customers’ feedback and make necessary changes in their games accordingly.
Sports: Sports data is often analyzed by programmers to guide people who are interested in legal betting.
Entertainment: Entertainment industry heavily relies on its customers’ reviews for high viewership. It is thus crucial for them to constantly invest in analyzing their customers’ feedback through web scraping.
FAQs on Web Scraping
Is Web Scraping Legal?
Yes, web scraping is legal as long as you are scraping public data. Popular search engines like Google, Bing, etc., scrape websites every day to curate search results for their users.
Is Web Scraping Free?
Yes, web scraping is free if you are willing to code in programming languages and do it the hard way. If you want quick solutions, then a few software like Octoparse, ParseHub, and ScrapingBee offer paid services and make web scraping easier.
What are some popular Web Scraping Projects on GitHub?
Popular web scraping projects on GitHub include Building a customized job search portal, analyzing a company’s financial documents, and Analysing movie reviews.
What is the best free web scraping tool?
Scrapy, ParseHub, Scraper API. OctoParse,, Common Crawl, Mozenda, Content Grabber are a few of the best web scraping tools available for free.
Is Web Scraping Illegal? Depends on What the Meaning of the Word Is
Depending on who you ask, web scraping can be loved or hated.
Web scraping has existed for a long time and, in its good form, it’s a key underpinning of the internet. “Good bots” enable, for example, search engines to index web content, price comparison services to save consumers money, and market researchers to gauge sentiment on social media.
“Bad bots, ” however, fetch content from a website with the intent of using it for purposes outside the site owner’s control. Bad bots make up 20 percent of all web traffic and are used to conduct a variety of harmful activities, such as denial of service attacks, competitive data mining, online fraud, account hijacking, data theft, stealing of intellectual property, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam and digital ad fraud.
So, is it Illegal to Scrape a Website?
So is it legal or illegal? Web scraping and crawling aren’t illegal by themselves. After all, you could scrape or crawl your own website, without a hitch.
Startups love it because it’s a cheap and powerful way to gather data without the need for partnerships. Big companies use web scrapers for their own gain but also don’t want others to use bots against them.
The general opinion on the matter does not seem to matter anymore because in the past 12 months it has become very clear that the federal court system is cracking down more than ever.
Let’s take a look back. Web scraping started in a legal grey area where the use of bots to scrape a website was simply a nuisance. Not much could be done about the practice until in 2000 eBay filed a preliminary injunction against Bidder’s Edge. In the injunction eBay claimed that the use of bots on the site, against the will of the company violated Trespass to Chattels law.
The court granted the injunction because users had to opt in and agree to the terms of service on the site and that a large number of bots could be disruptive to eBay’s computer systems. The lawsuit was settled out of court so it all never came to a head but the legal precedent was set.
In 2001 however, a travel agency sued a competitor who had “scraped” its prices from its Web site to help the rival set its own prices. The judge ruled that the fact that this scraping was not welcomed by the site’s owner was not sufficient to make it “unauthorized access” for the purpose of federal hacking laws.
Two years later the legal standing for eBay v Bidder’s Edge was implicitly overruled in the “Intel v. Hamidi”, a case interpreting California’s common law trespass to chattels. It was the wild west once again. Over the next several years the courts ruled time and time again that simply putting “do not scrape us” in your website terms of service was not enough to warrant a legally binding agreement. For you to enforce that term, a user must explicitly agree or consent to the terms. This left the field wide open for scrapers to do as they wish.
Fast forward a few years and you start seeing a shift in opinion. In 2009 Facebook won one of the first copyright suits against a web scraper. This laid the groundwork for numerous lawsuits that tie any web scraping with a direct copyright violation and very clear monetary damages. The most recent case being AP v Meltwater where the courts stripped what is referred to as fair use on the internet.
Previously, for academic, personal, or information aggregation people could rely on fair use and use web scrapers. The court now gutted the fair use clause that companies had used to defend web scraping. The court determined that even small percentages, sometimes as little as 4. 5% of the content, are significant enough to not fall under fair use. The only caveat the court made was based on the simple fact that this data was available for purchase. Had it not been, it is unclear how they would have ruled. Then a few months back the gauntlet was dropped.
Andrew Auernheimer was convicted of hacking based on the act of web scraping. Although the data was unprotected and publically available via AT&T’s website, the fact that he wrote web scrapers to harvest that data in mass amounted to “brute force attack”. He did not have to consent to terms of service to deploy his bots and conduct the web scraping. The data was not available for purchase. It wasn’t behind a login. He did not even financially gain from the aggregation of the data. Most importantly, it was buggy programing by AT&T that exposed this information in the first place. Yet Andrew was at fault. This isn’t just a civil suit anymore. This charge is a felony violation that is on par with hacking or denial of service attacks and carries up to a 15-year sentence for each charge.
In 2016, Congress passed its first legislation specifically to target bad bots — the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, which bans the use of software that circumvents security measures on ticket seller websites. Automated ticket scalping bots use several techniques to do their dirty work including web scraping that incorporates advanced business logic to identify scalping opportunities, input purchase details into shopping carts, and even resell inventory on secondary markets.
To counteract this type of activity, the BOTS Act:
Prohibits the circumvention of a security measure used to enforce ticket purchasing limits for an event with an attendance capacity of greater than 200 persons.
Prohibits the sale of an event ticket obtained through such a circumvention violation if the seller participated in, had the ability to control, or should have known about it.
Treats violations as unfair or deceptive acts under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill provides authority to the FTC and states to enforce against such violations.
In other words, if you’re a venue, organization or ticketing software platform, it is still on you to defend against this fraudulent activity during your major onsales.
The UK seems to have followed the US with its Digital Economy Act 2017 which achieved Royal Assent in April. The Act seeks to protect consumers in a number of ways in an increasingly digital society, including by “cracking down on ticket touts by making it a criminal offence for those that misuse bot technology to sweep up tickets and sell them at inflated prices in the secondary market. ”
In the summer of 2017, LinkedIn sued hiQ Labs, a San Francisco-based startup. hiQ was scraping publicly available LinkedIn profiles to offer clients, according to its website, “a crystal ball that helps you determine skills gaps or turnover risks months ahead of time. ”
You might find it unsettling to think that your public LinkedIn profile could be used against you by your employer.
Yet a judge on Aug. 14, 2017 decided this is okay. Judge Edward Chen of the U. S. District Court in San Francisco agreed with hiQ’s claim in a lawsuit that Microsoft-owned LinkedIn violated antitrust laws when it blocked the startup from accessing such data. He ordered LinkedIn to remove the barriers within 24 hours. LinkedIn has filed to appeal.
The ruling contradicts previous decisions clamping down on web scraping. And it opens a Pandora’s box of questions about social media user privacy and the right of businesses to protect themselves from data hijacking.
There’s also the matter of fairness. LinkedIn spent years creating something of real value. Why should it have to hand it over to the likes of hiQ — paying for the servers and bandwidth to host all that bot traffic on top of their own human users, just so hiQ can ride LinkedIn’s coattails?
I am in the business of blocking bots. Chen’s ruling has sent a chill through those of us in the cybersecurity industry devoted to fighting web-scraping bots.
I think there is a legitimate need for some companies to be able to prevent unwanted web scrapers from accessing their site.
In October of 2017, and as reported by Bloomberg, Ticketmaster sued Prestige Entertainment, claiming it used computer programs to illegally buy as many as 40 percent of the available seats for performances of “Hamilton” in New York and the majority of the tickets Ticketmaster had available for the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas two years ago.
Prestige continued to use the illegal bots even after it paid a $3. 35 million to settle New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe into the ticket resale industry.
Under that deal, Prestige promised to abstain from using bots, Ticketmaster said in the complaint. Ticketmaster asked for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and a court order to stop Prestige from using bots.
Are the existing laws too antiquated to deal with the problem? Should new legislation be introduced to provide more clarity? Most sites don’t have any web scraping protections in place. Do the companies have some burden to prevent web scraping?
As the courts try to further decide the legality of scraping, companies are still having their data stolen and the business logic of their websites abused. Instead of looking to the law to eventually solve this technology problem, it’s time to start solving it with anti-bot and anti-scraping technology today.
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Frequently Asked Questions about projects based on web scraping
Is it legal to scrape a website?
Web scraping and crawling aren’t illegal by themselves. After all, you could scrape or crawl your own website, without a hitch. … Big companies use web scrapers for their own gain but also don’t want others to use bots against them.
Can I make money web scraping?
Web Scraping can unlock a lot of value by providing you access to web data. … Offering web scraping services is a legitimate way to make some extra cash (or some serious cash if you work hard enough).Mar 30, 2020